Many of us are familiar with using night creams which, compared to day creams, often contain richer, more active ingredients (such as retinol). Successful New Zealand-founded beauty company Emma Lewisham has taken the concept several steps further with the release of its new Supernatural Sleeping Mask.

Billed as “beauty sleep in a bottle”, the product was released this week after three years of development. It joins a line-up of nine other products that are all created to the same innovative, carbon-positive standards.

A silky, soothing face mask with a pleasing pinkish tint, you can slather it on much like any other face mask – except you don’t have to wash it off. It’s been specially created to absorb into your skin while you slumber, treating dryness and sensitivity – and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as it does so.

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“We had a lot of customer requests for us to do a mask,” founder Emma Lewisham tells Broadsheet. Her team always looks to what customers want the company to develop – and where they can, bring something different in the category they’re about to move into. “We’re really mindful in the products that we bring out and don’t believe in adding unnecessary packaging waste.”

Rather than starting with a buzzy ingredient or skincare trend, the company works with a “skin-first” viewpoint when it comes to developing its products – and with the Supernatural Sleeping Mask, this involved researching what the skin does overnight.

Scientific studies show that, while we sleep, our skin gets busy repairing itself after being in what the brand Emma Lewisham refers to as “protection mode” during the day. “[We] looked at how we could accelerate that, or facilitate anything that the skin wasn't doing on its own,” says Lewisham.

The company’s team of scientists was fascinated to come across the benefits of gardenia jasminoides, commonly known as gardenia. A star inclusion within the mask, among 22 active ingredients, it is a flowering shrub that’s native to Southeast Asia but found all over the world. It has also been suggested to improve the quality of sleep.

More relevant to how it makes our faces look, gardenia extracts have been found to both protect the skin’s natural production of melatonin (melatonin is proven to restore and improve skin health) and it can bind to melatonin receptors, mimicking them at the same time.

The Supernatural Sleeping Mask is for those after more plump, softer, brighter and renewed skin – and for this writer, one night’s worth of use resulted in the total disappearance of an unwelcome patch of winter-dry skin that previously would not budge.

Aside from saving on laundry from the face cloths that will stay clean and dry, why make a mask that you don’t have to wash off? “We believe that the longer it’s on the skin, then it's actually going to be more beneficial and reach the epidermis deeper, [and] have that time to actually do what it needs to do,” says Lewisham. “Also from a consumer perspective, it makes it really friendly – you can put it on [and] forget about it.”